Welcome to In the Rising Podcast "Let's Build One Another Up!"
Feb. 14, 2023

Episode 184 | Alena Turley - Inspiring Woman and Mother Who Doesn't Want Anyone to Feel Boxed In

Are you a mom with big dreams? 

It can be difficult to find the time, energy and resources to make them a reality, but you don't have to do it alone. 

Unboxable is an inspiring podcast hosted by Alena Turley, a mom of four who knows how to make these dreams come true for moms. Alena's podcast is designed to reduce isolation, disconnection and empower moms to love all their roles, while still chasing their dreams with joy and energy. With inspiring stories from other moms like her, you'll be inspired to take on life's challenges with a newfound conviction and motivation.

 So don't give up, listen to Alena's Story and Unboxable and unleash your inner joy!

I invite you to listen to In the Rising Podcast- a show dedicated to helping others create change and a life that they really want.

"Living the life I want"
was a phrase that I heard often while working with clients going through cancer, and so I created this podcast. I also saw that there is a gap in knowledge about cancer, lymphedema and how to manage recovery, so I created Fit after Breast Cancer.

Thank you for your time and interest in this podcast! I invite you to leave a heartfelt review on whichever podcast platform you listen to. It does so much to bring exposure to the podcast and helps lift others up!

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In Good Health!





alena turley soul mama hub

[00:00:00] Bettina, In the Rising Podcast: Hello, hello, and welcome to In The Rising Podcast. My name is Bettina Brown and I am the host of this show. Now I created In The Rising Podcast because I was working one-on-one with hundreds of women going through breast cancer and other people going through different types of cancer, and there was just this one relating theme.

Every single time when I overcome, I will do this differently. And for some people that chance really came to life and for other clients of mine, they did not get that chance to create a different life. And so I thought about what about if we can rise up right then and there and not have to have such a big diagnosis.

So on top of creating FitafterBreastCancer.com, I created In the Rising Podcast to talk about how we can rise up and my guest today is Alena Turley And Wow. Does she have a story about transformation, transforming her life and really the legacy of her children, her family, and making an impact for all the women that she encounters, becoming inspiration, becoming motivation, and unboxing themselves into other roles besides just being a mom.

Thank you so much, Alena for being part of In The Rising Podcast. I am super excited to talk to you today.

[00:01:35] Alena Turley: Thanks, Bettina it's so lovely to be here.

[00:01:37] Bettina, In the Rising Podcast: And I am gonna say on record, I adore your glasses. . I just love it.

[00:01:44] Alena Turley: For the podcast listeners, ,and they're, they're, they're large and dark and they're sort of a bit like the designer in.

Minions? No. In the Incredibles, they're sort of like those, you know.

[00:01:58] Bettina, In the Rising Podcast: Yes.

[00:01:58] Alena Turley: Big black

[00:01:59] Bettina, In the Rising Podcast: and I loved them in that movie too. . Um, and so I'm really happy to have you. You are. You're just a lot of things. You're a holistic mother, um, mentor for mothers. You are a mother, you're a martial artist. Yes. And you're a podcaster as well.

So you cover a lot of bases and I am really interested in learning more about. with the, where you came up with the Soul Mama hub, because there is, there's an underlying story of why this became important for you.

[00:02:32] Alena Turley: Yeah, there is.

Um, so thank you for having me on to share this story. It's my favorite story to share, mainly because I went through a lot of stuff and I really like letting women especially know that if there's a lot of stuff going on in your life, just keep going.

Just keep swimming, you know? And, uh, The various things that I overcame to be where I am today. I guess first off, a little bit of early life adversity and some separation and divorce and some some adverse life experiences in my very early, early years, and then that led into. Other things that came up for me, and I guess I probably was a bit of a self-medicating mental health type person where I ended up in active addiction for probably more than 10 years, and it culminated in in me finding myself.

Having experienced a fair amount of domestic abuse and actually had an experience of being attacked at my home by an ex-partner, which led to a year of P T S D. So I've experienced P T S D and, and also borderline eating disorders as a result of that. And then, When I was, um, pregnant with my first child, I was in a really difficult situation where there was kind of a nexus of all of these things coming together, and I wasn't able to be, uh, self-medicating the way I always had.

And so I found myself, again, experiencing a lot of stress in a less than ideal relationship. A lot of love, but also a lot of our trauma was playing out in that relat. and becoming a parent can often trigger your own issues with your childhood. So that was happening. It was this kind of confluence of things all at once and I found myself really low in weight and my child was born very low birth weight, like a premature baby, but he was actually born full term.

So I found myself in this position where we separated when he was about four months old. So I was single mother. Actively in addiction, pretty alienated most of my friends and family. And that culminated by the time he was about two in a week of homelessness and deep soul searching at that point where I was, you know, with a child with no partner, no real work to speak of, I'd been thrown out of the last place.

I'd been couch surfing. All of my belongings had actually been thrown on the road. It was just, it was nuts, you know? And, Fortunately had a couple of really caring people who stepped in and said, you're not doing so well. You know, something has to change and. So I kind of embarked on this mission. I went to a 12 step program for a few years, and I helped to heal some of my addiction issues, and then I kind of began to look differently at my life.

You know, I started to consider what was it that I needed to do in order to grow into the kind of person I wanted to be. You know, and I went through this big process, five years of deep personal development and being on my own and rebuilding my work life. You know, I started studying construction. I had been in film and in administration, I suppose.

and so I started studying construction and I began working part-time as an admin assistant and personal assistant for a stunt man. I did a, a bunch of different things and I started to really look at how I was parenting and what was coming up for me and reflecting on how I wanted to create a life that was more aware.

Our custodians have being a custodian for the environment. You know, how do we become a custodian for the natural world in the modern day with the pressures of all the modern day Yeah. During early motherhood, you know, on my own. So I started a blog and that, that was kind of how the PSMA Maha began, was about in 2009, so 14 years ago now.

Um, it was a really early, early days for the, for the blogging world and, um, You know, it's evolved a lot since then and it's still there. The psalm on the Ho blog and, and I love it still. I don't post on it quite as often cuz I have a podcast. But essentially what I did was I discovered there were certain key steps that I needed to take to get from, I'm homeless, addicted and alone, and completely burnt out by life, you know, and trauma to now married.

Two kids and a dog and, you know, a flourishing career and a business and a podcast and various other things. Martial arts, just got my black belt last year and have hap kido, so I instruct women in martial arts as well. And, and I feel, first of all, deeply grateful for the fact that I can sit here today and say that to you because I, I don't think it was always gonna be that way.

but also deeply grateful to be able to now do this work with other women. And not, not many of them are in deep adversity, but, but the things that I used, I guess, to get from there to here are really applicable to lots of people in lots of situations, you know? So that's been really nice to kind of go, okay, well, I kind of now know.

How to support other people to take steps towards their biggest, boldest dreams. You know, what an incredible thing, and it's very personal, but I'd really love to men. That's my favorite thing to mentor people about .

That is, that's an

[00:08:01] Bettina, In the Rising Podcast: incredible story and um, thank you for sharing it. And thank you also for acknowledging the vulnerability to share such a story because in, in just sharing that, , there is always gonna be some judgment.

Right? Well, you know, we're kind of mock . Yeah, you should. That should have woken you up that moment. Yeah, and it, it's not that easy. It's easy to to talk. It's a lot more difficult to act and I think it's even a lot more difficult to remain consistent in actions that are not what you're used to. And it sounds like that's for you where you made this realization.

And then you said, I looked into myself very deeply for five years. A lot of us don't look very deeply into ourselves for five minutes because we're afraid of what we might see there. Um, and, um, have to acknowledge the way we feel. And yet you kept pursuing that because you knew there was something better on the other end of that.

[00:09:00] Alena Turley: Yeah, I was pretty relentless. I, I had a lot of support as well. And, and I think the key thing that comes back to me time and time again is that we, yes, we need to connect within and we need to be brave, as you say, and, and look at the things we would rather not definitely, but to do that on your own is virtually impossible.

You know, like there was, the only way I could do that was because I sought the help I needed in lots of various different forms and, I feel like that's my ultimate blessing is that I can now share that kind of support with others because I know that. Despite our best intentions, it's very, very difficult to make changes deeply and lasting in any lasting way.

Mm-hmm. without connection, without a community or connection in some way.

[00:09:48] Bettina, In the Rising Podcast: I like that you mentioned intention because you know, just 30 days ago was the beginning of the year when we make a lot of resolutions and. Brand new intentions, and I think the studies are that by the 13th or 14th of January, all of that is blown out of the water

[00:10:08] Alena Turley: Um, it, it's so true.

[00:10:10] Bettina, In the Rising Podcast: it remains a nice thought. The, the intention is, is nice, but it's the action to continue to follow up and, and, and seek the help to go, including listening to podcasts, reading books, um, having conversation, having therapy. . Um, and so absolutely you ha you started this, it sounds like the Soul Mama hub was something that also helped you in your healing process at

that time.

Oh, 100%, absolutely. I think, uh, for

[00:10:37] Alena Turley: me, creating and sharing is actually a huge part of my healing, and it continues to be so. I think when we are able to share our story authentically and show up in life authentically, like really authentically, not just I'm gonna be authentic, you know, a flippant throwaway line, but I mean really do the work to be able to come as you are and as all of you are at any given moment.

That is powerful. And I shared about this on TV recently actually. It was funny. And, and uh, I got asked the question, you know, do you really think that helps people? And I was like, yeah, I really do. Because we need to hear the stories of other people so that we can make sense of our own story. That's.

Something we've done for a really long time as human beings, and if you look at something potentially we can learn from the many various First Nations or indigenous or aboriginal cultures here in Australia. storytelling is a huge part of those cultures and for good reason. It's human to do that, and it's, that's why podcasts are so good, right?

Because yeah, we get to connect with stories of other people. So I will continue to, and I won't say it's fearlessly, share my story. It's not fearless at all. I, I just, I do it with the fear. I do the things that I do with the fear because the power and the compelled, I'm compelled to share it because of the potential for healing for other people and the potential to serve other people.

Mm-hmm. that for me outweighs the, the fear and the shame that I've carried before. around it, you know, but it's taken some doing, it's taken a lot of, a lot of different things to become comfortable enough to admit to some of the things I admit to in my story, right? And to take full responsibility for those things.

Like I'm not doing that as a victim or in blame. I totally understand. Why the people that were played a part in that story did what they did, and I forgive them 100%. I don't hold any resentment or blame. So there's a lot of work to be done on forgiveness. Mm-hmm. to be able to tell your story when it involves the actions of other people.


Yeah. . And, and that's,

[00:12:52] Bettina, In the Rising Podcast: and, and that's also an honoring conversation just in itself to acknowledge where, what they did and where, why they probably did. And they also have a story, and the people who did whatever to them also have a story. And so, You know, that takes some work through life and everyone has a different pace of when they can acknowledge if they will, and to also provide the grace and the compassion and empathy.

Yeah. For that.

[00:13:22] Alena Turley: Yeah, I still agree with you. Thank you for saying that. That's beautiful and I totally agree. Yeah.

Yeah. You mentioned

[00:13:29] Bettina, In the Rising Podcast: fear and shame, and I think especially when we're talking about motherhood, I think there are just some words that come to mind, right? It's, yeah, miracle. Blessing, love , life changing.

And then there are these other words that also ring true for so many. And that's lonely perfectionism. Uh, fatigue and comparison,

and yes, guilt.

[00:13:56] Alena Turley: That's a big one.

Guilt .

[00:13:59] Bettina, In the Rising Podcast: Guilt is, uh, I think that's the book title. The mama Guilt. And, and someone told me recently, you know, there are good moms that that. And she just let it go.

I love that you, you're

[00:14:12] Alena Turley: right. Hundred percent.

[00:14:14] Bettina, In the Rising Podcast: And, and, and, and that's okay. Um, and, uh, just that, that was, you know, that there was a period there, there was nothing else. There are still good moms and they work and they, they do this. Mm. Uh, you know, there are a lot of moms who are, are struggling as well with fatigue and fatigue.

I think comparing, because we used to raise children more in a familial, like in the village. Yes. There, there were. It was never just. , there was a community and because of choices or life or you know, distance, we don't really have that anymore. And That's right. Feel that. What, what have you seen, um, in, in from women that talk to you?

Yeah, absolutely.

[00:14:57] Alena Turley: That, that isolation and disconnection that so many women experience, particularly through early motherhood, but it can continue for many years. Mm-hmm. , I think it's all too common. It's become almost like a, a cultural disease, you know? It's something that we have created in our modern urban, particularly urban western culture.

And now we stand and we look at it and as certainly as women and mothers commonly question it, you know, really question it. And then how do we find an alternative? How do we find an antidote is the next question. And I think often we don't is the, is the real answer. Um, the times when I have felt something different through, I've had three different children in three different circumstances, and, and I've, each time I've learned something, The one time I didn't feel alone was when I lived in a smaller city in England and I went to groups, support groups that were run by volunteers two, three times a week.

And it was very powerful. And yes, I still felt a little isolated, but it was far better. Yeah. And. . It's one of the reasons I think I build communities now online and also locally where I live, is cause I really feel sad that so many women have experienced that and continue to experience it when it's not necessary.

Mm-hmm. and it comes out of a lot of different things. Um, it comes out of our inability to ask for help. and our inability to be vulnerable. You know, we are not conditioned or taught how to do those things very well anymore. Some of us are, but I'm generalizing. And so then we find ourselves in a position where we are forced to ask for help, and then we feel like we're failing.

Mm-hmm. , if we show weakness or we show vulnerability, and you would think that wouldn't be there anymore, but it. It really is. And um,


[00:16:48] Bettina, In the Rising Podcast: it's

alive and well .

[00:16:50] Alena Turley: Yeah. Even if it's just in the background, you know? Mm-hmm. . And we've come a long way with it. We've come a long way in being able to talk about maternal mental health.

We've come a long way in being able to see the research of various practitioners all over the world who are challenging these stereotypes. Uh, but it's still well and truly, like you say, alive and. So, so I, I think the antidote really is, first we need to ask questions. How important really is it for us to appear strong and in control?

And where is that coming from? Where, where does that come from in you? Can you address that in another way? Can you acknowledge that that thought or that belief is not relevant? In your experience as a mother and it's time to let that go, can you surround yourself with people you feel safe amongst and supported by?

And how can you do that? So my community is one way, but there's a lot of ways these days. . So I think that we just need to ask questions and we need to really, like you say, be so gentle and really shine deep self-compassion. Mm-hmm. on it. Really shine the light of self-compassion on our thinking, on our feelings, on our experience as much as we can.

Because that's often what's lacking is that deep self-compassion. You know, we, we replace it with comparison and high expectations.


[00:18:17] Bettina, In the Rising Podcast: and I, I feel that the, the. The words with the hyphen self-compassion has been said to me at least five times in the last three weeks, . So it's

[00:18:28] Alena Turley: becoming a really big thing,

isn't it?

[00:18:30] Bettina, In the Rising Podcast: Yes, yes. And um, you know, people have also talked to me about how they're learning some self-compassion. It sounds crazy because we're, we're having compassion for other people and build and, and we're also taught that you have to be there for others. It's helpful. You also have to allow others to be there for you.

Yes, and that's a huge one. That's where you build with the


[00:18:54] Alena Turley: This is a really interesting topic. It comes up a lot with the women that I work with that because we are in a culture of individualism. Mm-hmm. . Okay. So we've become a little bit transactional. We don't mean to. But we have become a little bit transactional.

So when we receive help, we fear that either it reflects badly on us or that we might then owe that person something. But I ask you to think about this. When somebody says to you, I really need some help. Can you help me? And you are able to help them and you say, yeah, sure, of course. What do you need? You know the feeling that you.

When that person trusts you enough to ask for your help and allows you into that vulnerable space, how do you feel? You feel naturally. Good. Mm-hmm. , you feel needed. You feel connected. You feel part of something. These are feelings we need that are quite rare in our society and. . If you reflect on what a blessing it is to you, when someone allows you to help them, I ask you to think about that the next time you ask for help.

Now, if they say, no, no problem, don't be embarrassed. It just means they don't, they're not able to do it. Ask someone else. It's no big deal. But if they say yes, you're bestowing a blessing upon them. And I don't mean that in a religious way. I mean, you are inviting someone into your space Absolutely. And to support you.

Absolutely. And they will feel good about. if they truly care. And I'm sure you would only ask someone that truly cares. So that's something they feel good about. That's why people volunteer. You know? That's because it feels good. Yeah.

I, I heard something one time that sometimes the most selfish thing that you can do is to be helping somebody else because it feels so good.

[00:20:35] Bettina, In the Rising Podcast: Yes. Yes. something that you just, it, it lifts you up and it, and it rises you up. But also acknowledging that someone else would like to feel that way too. So that that,

yeah, that's right. And then the other part of it that's really

[00:20:49] Alena Turley: complex and tricky sometimes for women is that we are very deeply conditioned, especially as mothers, to give, to give and to give and to give.

And so our receiving muscle, a bit of us, that allows someone to help us. that has our hands open. Receiving is not very conditioned. Mm-hmm. So sometimes we're just not used to receiving, so we're so conditioned to say, someone says, do you need a hand? No, no, I'm fine. No, no. You know, you're struggling with the shopping and the baby or whatever.

An old person even struggling with things will very rarely accept help. . So we need to practice a little bit that receiving muscle we need to get it back into shape, you know? Yeah. And just say yes and gracefully receive what is offered to you. And I think saying yes to help is a big mom lesson for sure.


[00:21:41] Bettina, In the Rising Podcast: Oh gosh. Is it ? Yeah. You, you've done a lot, you and you, your community. You a supportive community of mothers who are talking about flirting with burnout. Sometimes I don't think it's flirting. I think it's a marriage. . Yeah, . It's straight up connected. Right. Um, and to feel more inspired and, and empowered and, and energy.

So share more about your community and how, how did you even begin

[00:22:06] Alena Turley: this really? Well, about two years ago I had, I had a yearning to offer support, but I just didn't really know how to do it. I've got this kind of mixed bag of qualifications and really deep experience of transformation in my own life, and I wasn't quite sure what container I could put it in.

I didn't wanna be a therapist. I'm not trained as a therapist. I'm trained as an educator, and I'm really good at bringing people together and holding space. So I started this community. Just after my grandmother died, and she very cryptically said to me, you have a gift, Elena. It's in your heart. And I didn't know what it meant.

And so I undertook this little kind of journey, I guess a little quest to find out what does that mean and what can I do with it? And I ended up with the idea of starting a community for women that was reasonably affordable and really accessible. 24 7. Mm-hmm. . So what we do is we basically, I. Various experts and practitioners in to present, and I sometimes present as well on the things that I'm expert in, and we'll kind of put tools in the toolbox and we do that in the context of a really safe and supportive community.

So it's a group on socials, and then it's also a portal in which you can go and skill up and learn these beautiful skills and go to workshops and have experiences each month that nourish you and support you and give you a sense that you are just having a moment to yourself. You.

[00:23:32] Bettina, In the Rising Podcast: and not isolated.

[00:23:34] Alena Turley: Yeah.

And connected to a community of, mm-hmm. like-minded women who are also seeking the same kind of goals. It's a bit of inspiration, bit of empowerment, bit of energy, you know, how do we nurture ourselves? It's all very well to say, just do some self-care, you know, , but it's a little too simplistic. So this supports that process.

It's a

[00:23:54] Bettina, In the Rising Podcast: very umbrella statement for sure. Mm-hmm. And you also have, uh, an online program, lion Life Roadmap, and I love the Lion , the idea of that. I'd like you to share a little bit about that as well.

[00:24:08] Alena Turley: Thank you for asking Bettina. So the Line Life Roadmap is the program that I encourage women to follow, and what we do is we add to it every month with these workshops.

So it's essentially a recorded version and also a kind of strategic roadmap from I'm really burned out, I'm really exhausted. I don't know where to start taking care of myself and I need my energy back and I need to remember who I am all the way through these five stages till you get to the part, the part of it that's more, okay, I know who I am again now and.

I have a bigger purpose beyond motherhood. Alongside motherhood. I'm showing up as the best mom possible and I'm pursuing these bigger dreams and starting to take steps out into the world or maybe already out in the world and getting really clear on my purpose. Mm-hmm. . So those stages kind of take you from that.

I really don't know what to do to take care of myself. I'm depleted and burnt out to, I'm living in alignment with my principles and I'm. intentionally on purpose for this five stages, and it just takes you through each stage. And one of the stages is actually about sustainability and making your home more in line with your values.


[00:25:23] Bettina, In the Rising Podcast: and sharing, you know, your values and, and, and reeva reevaluating your values because a lot of us are operating on the values of other people, or we're operating on the values that we had when we're 18 or 20, and now we're 30, 40, 50. We're, we're, we feel disconnected and it's because that's not what's important to us anymore.

And I also love that you shared things outside of being a mom, , , because being a mom is a beautiful part of your life, but that if, if that is all of your life, it's all consuming and it's also demanding on the children. And there is something to you still wonderful in addition. .

[00:26:03] Alena Turley: Yeah. We need something for ourselves.

And I think it's a bit of a myth that we have to choose either ourselves or being a great mom. Like you say, you can work and be a great mom. It's not, it's not either or. And I think that's so important and it's a value that I really, um, talk about quite a lot. It's, it's a big one for us, I think. Yeah, absolutely.

[00:26:23] Bettina, In the Rising Podcast: So there's, um, a mom listening and she's like, you know, I can relate to her story, her personal story, or I feel like yes, I am exhausted and I need to face, I need to have my own time to face the things that I really don't wanna face, but I know that I will be a better mom. And if I wanna be an awesome mom, I need to look in that.

How can they learn more about you?

[00:26:48] Alena Turley: Oh, I just, I wanna send a lot of love to that woman right now, first of all, and say you're not broken lady. Just come and hang out with us . So there's a lot of ways you can get in touch. I hang out a lot on Instagram and on Facebook, so you can find me there at Soul Mama Hub.

S O U L m a m A hub. And you can also just come to my website and have a look around, which is elena turley.com and you'll see the spelling in the show notes. So, uh, but I really love to hear from women and there's a wait list for my membership. I don't have it open all the time because I like to love on my members and Keith does closed and really curate the space.

Carefully and, um, with all my heart. So I open it up about three times a year at this stage. So you can always get on the wait list for the membership, but in the meantime, there's plenty of other stuff going on, and if you're really, really, really stuck, I am opening up some one-to-one mentorship sessions at the moment.

So that's coming soon as well. So just jump on any of those, and I would love to hear from you if this resonated with.

[00:27:49] Bettina, In the Rising Podcast: Absolutely. And like you said, it will be in the show notes and I am just so grateful for your time today and thanks for loving on other people and on malls, , and, um, Aww. It's a pleasure.

And I know that's gonna, that made a huge difference for, for your own

[00:28:03] Alena Turley: kiddos. Mm-hmm. Thank you so much for having me Bettina it's been lovely to hang out.

[00:28:09] Bettina, In the Rising Podcast: So if you were listening to this show, maybe your gut reaction was similar to mine. I did not see Elena's story coming. You know, really homeless and, and being a mother and addiction.

But at the same time, doesn't she have a story of inspiration that she made a conscious decision to change the life and the life of her kids and everything going from there. And then she also honored a call, a call to be of service. And what about if that call is for you? What if that call is to share this podcast and help put this story in the hands and ears of someone who really needs it right now.

So I encourage you and I invite you to do that, and I also invite you to leave a five star review or an honest review of this podcast so that we can reach it out to the people that need it most. I am so grateful for your time because you. That's the one thing we never get back, and until next Tuesday, let's keep building one another up.

Alena TurleyProfile Photo

Alena Turley


Are you a mom with big dreams? It can be difficult to find the time, energy and resources to make them a reality, but you don't have to do it alone. Unboxable is an inspiring podcast hosted by Alena Turley, a mom of four who knows how to make these dreams come true for moms. Alena's podcast is designed to reduce isolation, disconnection and empower moms to love all their roles, while still chasing their dreams with joy and energy. With inspiring stories from other moms like her, you'll be inspired to take on life's challenges with a newfound conviction and motivation. So don't give up, listen to Unboxable and unleash your inner mompreneur!